Innovation doesn’t have to suffer when a workplace goes virtual, Inc. reports. Done right, it can even improve.
Two-thirds of America’s fastest-growing private companies intend to somewhat or greatly increase employees’ ability to work from home, according to a recent survey of the Inc. 5000, while around 2% will go all-in on virtual. How, then, to keep creativity thrumming within digital work teams?
Several innovation experts offer the following tips:
Embed in people’s lives. Innovation starts with understanding and empathy, achieved by observing in action those whose problems teams want to solve, and that kind of research might expand under virtual business models. Companies can redirect budgets to dispatch small teams into the field.
Get physical, sometimes. Employees must feel safe enough to proffer out-of-the-box ideas. Strong eye contact, which helps build trust, is hard to achieve in Zoom. It’s recommended that virtual innovation teams come together periodically in-person for activities like ideation—but also to build their relationships and restore their lost sense of place.
Bring in more viewpoints. Since innovation thrives on varied perspectives and experiences, digital collaboration can be almost endlessly inclusive. Some CEOs have invited in experts from around the world and curated open conversations around topics of interest, while others have simply opened innovation sessions to more people within the business.
To see the rest of their advice, read the full story.